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Like many people you probably recycle aluminum cans, newspaper, plastics and glass at home. You may even bring your own tote to the store; buy organic food some of the time, and use non-toxic cleaning products around the kitchen.
But are you also green at the office? Do you use recycled office paper and then recycle any paper you don't need instead of putting it in the trash? Do you consistently turn off your computer and lights when you leave your office? Do you drink coffee in reusable cups and water in refillable bottles?
A recent Office Depot survey of 2,500 business professionals found that half of all professionals are interested in making their offices greener, but cost and understanding are the two primary factors preventing businesses from going greener at the office. According to the survey, professionals say they currently take part in the following green purchases and practices:
More than half (54%) recycle paper and magazines
Nearly a half (48%) recycle bottles and cans as well as ink cartridges (45%)
Only 24% purchase Energy Star rated technology, e.g. computers, monitors, copiers, etc.
One-third (33%) use energy-efficient lights
A quarter (24%) print double-sided copies
Only 16% purchase remanufactured ink and toner cartridges
The good news is that many businesses are starting to go green and are realizing the benefits. Creating a greener office is probably much simpler and less expensive than you think. Many green ideas can actually save your business money and don't force you to compromise quality. And by remembering some simple principles about going green you can avoid much of the jargon that historically caused confusion.
"Start by making small changes to your everyday purchases and practices," explains Yalmaz Siddiqui, Director of Environmental Strategy for Office Depot. "For example, buy green by seeking products with just a small amount of recycled content, or be green by turning off your light each time you leave your office or cube. By starting small, you can start to go green without feeling overwhelmed. And once your few small steps become habits, you can then think about additional steps."
Whether you have a home office, a small business, or are part of a larger company, every small step in a greener direction makes a positive difference
Developing Your Greener Office Program
So how do you start if you want to go green at the office? Office Depot has been helping businesses go green since 2003 when we launched our first Green Book catalog of environmentally preferable products. We have now developed a simple five step program to help you get a greener office. You can implement one idea within this program, or follow every idea in the proposed sequence. By implementing these changes you will be well on your way towards A greener office - one that is more energy efficient, less wasteful and healthier.